I knew and liked my husband for 4 years before we got married. Ever since that I’ve found myself showered with irritating comments for having a ‘love marriage’. They often make me feel embarrassed. Even after two years of my marriage, I faced comments in social gatherings like, “You would hardly understand because yours is a love marriage”, “Why would you think about that, yours is a love marriage?” Unable to resist, I turned back one day and asked, “Is there no love in your marriage?”
In Indian society, people choosing a love marriage are often seen as being ‘non-sanskari (uncultured)’, anti-social and not worthy of appreciation. I know people who even condemn love marriage, calling it a Western culture, evil. Maybe I don’t always argue with those elderly and orthodox people, but I do have many arguments to serve them quickly. I am an Indian girl and I know our traditions and culture as well as any other common Indian woman does. Holy books and customs tell us that Mahadev Shiv and Goddess Parvati have a love marriage. People fast and recite the story of how Goddess Parvati had a crush on Lord Shiva and convinced everyone that she would marry him. The Ramayana tells us how Goddess Sita met Lord Ram in a garden and prayed to Goddess Gauri to make Lord Rama her husband. Our Lord Krishna eloped with Rukmini to marry her.
Even the gods of Hindu culture followed the trend of love marriage. How is it against the Hindu culture to marry the person we love?
A girl is not a thing which can be given to anyone. Every girl or boy has their preferences for a life partner. And that is perfectly acceptable. Choosing who is going to be my life partner is my right. I understand that some of us may not have seen the world to make the perfect decision in this matter and need the advice of their parents. It may also be that someone finds their parents to be in a better position to judge the best life partner for them. But the ultimate decision is all yours. It is like passing on the power of attorney to make such crucial decision to someone trustworthy, eligible and experienced. When we authorise our elders to make the best choice for us, we decide to love the person chosen by our parents. But love is still involved.
I don’t think there is a marriage without love. That would be called compromise, compulsion, cruelty, force or something like that but not marriage.
Yes, I had met my husband several times before marriage. We had dates and outings. I judged him and he judged me. It is no crime, either socially or morally. And my parents made the arrangements for my wedding.
Related reading: Best wedding stories – collection of romantic stories
So stop looking at a couple wide-eyed when they have loved each other even before marriage. There is nothing shameful in marrying your love. You don’t need to ask again and again, “Is yours a love marriage?” This is not an alien thing and I pity you if there is no love involved in your marriage